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Mishy Cass, Executive Creative Director

We strive to do work that is unignorable. That shakes culture and makes a difference.

So, during the 2023 holiday season, we wanted to make a big impact for Seattle’s Black-owned businesses–less than 1% of business owners in Seattle.

We decided to leverage the biggest shopping day of the year, November 24, to drive Seattleites to spend their dollars intentionally, making Black Friday, Black Black Friday, and rolling out the Black Black Friday card—a prepaid card purchased at a 20% discount (thanks to sponsor BECU) exclusively redeemable at participating Seattle-area Black-owned businesses on Black Black Friday and beyond.

The call to our community came through in a big way: Business owners who gave their time and wisdom to sit on an advisory panel to help guide the work from start to finish, over $1.6 million in donated media to get the word out, artists who lent their time and talent to the cause, local celebs and even Seattle’s mayor got on board and declared November 24, 2023, officially Black Black Friday. But most importantly, all this work paid off for the people who needed it the most: Black-business owners. Not only with 200M impressions and $200,000 in the pockets of these businesses but Google searches for Black-owned businesses in Seattle went up to an all-time high.

This is just the start as we strive to make shopping for Black-owned businesses a habit for Seattleites and eventually branding Black Black Friday nationally as a day to shop Black-owned businesses and get people to spend their dollars intentionally.

When I think about unignorable work or work I wish I would’ve done, that’s easy: Liquid Death. No, it’s not because I interviewed Andy Pearson, their VP of Creative, to come work for me at REI a few years ago (no one understood his genius and said he “wasn’t a good fit”), and now he’s killing it at Liquid Death.

Not many agencies or in-house creative departments are willing to take the risk and bring in people with different perspectives, come from different backgrounds, and approach creative problem-solving in different ways. However, at DNA, we’re committed to cognitive diversity because it’s the secret sauce to getting to disruptive creative ideas. We believe the most unignorable, innovative, and fresh work comes from bringing together people who think, feel, and make differently.

Liquid Death is proof of this. Everything they do is unignorable, breaks the rules, and shakes culture. They constantly look for ways to break through and do what has not been done before. There is such courageousness to that. And being confident and comfortable enough to challenge the status quo by bringing in unique perspectives that can get you there.

The brand describes itself as “just a funny beverage company that hates corporate marketing as much as you do.” And that is their north star as they develop their work. They realized that 98% of consumers hate marketing, and making people laugh is the way to connect with the consumers. Sustainability and healthy habits are at the center of this approach.

The brand’s campaigns maintain a consistent tonality while tailoring creative concepts to suit each celebrity endorser. Whether it’s the fictional character The Deep advocating for marine sustainability or skateboarding legend Tony Hawk emphasizing the brand’s roots, each partnership serves to expand Liquid Death’s reach and appeal to different audience segments.

By associating with renowned figures like Martha Stewart and Cherie DeVille, Liquid Death adds a layer of cultural relevance and coolness to its brand image. These collaborations not only help to increase brand visibility but also tap into the fan bases of each celebrity, further amplifying the message of sustainability.

Liquid Death’s humorous and opinionated approach to environmental issues, such as using single-use plastic bottles, has resonated with consumers and challenged the bottled water industry. Through its campaigns, the brand encourages consumers to opt for sustainable alternatives and raises awareness about the environmental impact of plastic waste.

Liquid Death’s strategic partnerships with celebrities, bold stance on environmental issues, and consistent ability to produce the unexpected by embracing out of the box ways of thinking have solidified their position as a disruptive and unignorable force. So, yes, it’s work we aspire to do at DNA.

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